A Time To Share

Our God is a God of Nations:
"He so love the WORLD ... He gave His one and only son..."

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

WHO IS BEHIND ALL THESE?




Looking out from the window of an aeroplane:   

   Amazed that we are flying in this endless stretch of light blue sky 

  Who put the sun, the moon in their places among these floating cloud  

  Who cares for the birds flying in the air  way below our eyes could see 

  He is the Almighty God who created the Heaven and the Earth  

  For as high as the Heavens is above the Earth so great is His love for us  

  As far as the East is to the West He readily forgives our sins   


Looking out from the window of the Cruise Ship:
   
   Overwhelmed by the wide stretch of deep blue sea that knows no depth   
   Who is He that calms the sea, even the wind and the storm listen to Him   
   Who put the fish in the sea that we can freely feed on   
   God gives wisdom to the engineers to enable the ship to remain afloat   
   He is faithful and He will never leave us nor forsake us   
   He wants to give us His best but the choice is ours to accept   

Looking out from the Observation Deck:
   
   Astonished with the architecture of the gigantic skyscrapers and bridges   
   Nestling in front of the rolling hills,  supported by the mountains behind    
   Attracted to the colorful flower beds framed with greens here and there   
   Who cares for such beauty everywhere that we tend to ignore  
   People in the streets, in their cars and inside these buildings   
   Ever wonder who cares for these people forever rushing and chasing   

Looking down from Heaven:
   
   I am the God the Creator and the Engineer of the Universe  
   I care for the birds in the air and the fishes in the sea   
   No creatures in the land is left out, not even the lilies in the field   
   How much more I care for you whom I call to be my own  
   I gave my one and only son just to reconcile you back to me   
   I'm waiting with outstretched arms, 
   the Heaven will rejoice if you accept me 







     

 



  

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

FOOCHOW IN SITIAWAN


I am a Foochow, A Hu-chew-noin.  My parents are both from Simpang Tiga, a small village in Sitiawan.  I was born and brought up in Ipoh.  It was in Ipoh that I met my husband.  He is also a Foochow (ku-eng) from Kampung Koh, a small town in Sitiawan.  As such, we share many fond memories of our 'home town' - Sitiawan.

Sitiawan was predominantly settled by Foochow, or 'huchiu-nen' in our dialect.  In fact, these Foochow people were led by 2 Chinese Methodist pastors, to escape the poverty in Fujian, China to come to Nanyang to look for greener pastures.  They called the place they stepped foot, 'mu-shi-lau', meaning the house of pastors (direct translation from the dialect).  It is better known as Kampung Koh. Today, there are also other dialects like hu-chiang, ku-eng, hu-kkien living in Sitiawan. Many of them speak cantonese too.

Foochow people are very hardworking, especially their women. These Foochow women are thrifty too. This is why the Foochow girls are well sort after for marriage!  Their parents will normally get a higher dowry compared to other dialects!  In return, the bride's parents (think they have more to lose) will put a few rubber trees (signifies the number of  'bar' or estates they give to their daughter) through the windows of the bridal car.  In olden days Sitiawan,  brides were seen with necks and wrists weighed down with chains of gold, not to mentioned the 10 fingers almost full of gold rings from parents and relatives!  Foochow relatives are really generous.

Most of the people in Sitiawan were rubber tappers during the olden days.  They woke up before dawn, some even after mid-night if they were slow workers, to tap the rubber trees.  This was so because they need to finish the job before sunrise.  As it was still dark, they wore a torch-light on the forehead. After lunch, they would normally rest by lying on the cement floors at home.  

Afternoons were the time to gather for celebration if there was any.  As such most of the wedding feasts were held in the afternoons.  Since it was a celebration feast,  the whole family,  young or old would go. The whole family would normally take up a table each.  Be it 12 or 15 persons, they could easily squeeze in because they sat on benches rather than chairs! They would even bring their pots or carrier knowing that there would surely be more than enough on the table!   The host would usually serve 16 to 18 dishes on the table!  So a wedding feast is meant to be shared on the table at the host's house in the afternoon, and a left over dinner at individual homes!  Do you now believe that Foochow are generous people? One thing for sure, these feasts were usually homecooked.  Voluntary helpers would swarm in from all over the village to render help!

Do not be alarmed if you see 2 Foochow standing facing each other and talking loudly.  'Huchiu-nen' usually speaks  'huchiu-wa' or Foochow dialect loudly no matter where, be it in the wet market or airconditioned supermarket!  Once I asked why they need to speak so loudly when the other person is just in front of them.  Guess what is the reply?  " It shows our warmth, and closeness towards each other."  The older generation like my mother takes pride in 'gong-bang-wa' or even sing their 'huchiu-kwo' like the following:  Sung in Foochow:


"Ni Tau Lor Lan, Loh San Kian
Hai Tsui Zhu Chai, Ng Nai Sian
Hor Soak Moi Doh, Ng Nai Tsui
Hor Gian Toh Yin, Ng Nai Chian"

曰頭落山,落山邊
海水煮菜,吳乃盬
好石磨刀,吳乃水
好仔討㛺、 吳乃錢


Direct Translation:

The sun goes down by the side of the mountain
Use sea water to fry vegetable, don't need salt
Use good stone to sharpen knife, don't need water
So, when a good son gets married, don't need money

Many young Foochow left Sitiawan to look for better job opportunities elsewhere.  A few of them even stammer at their once fluent dialect!  Luckily, food still remains as the link between the young and old generation of Foochow people despite the distance that separate them.
  
Mother's Foochow cooking is still the best! Dishes like oinchiu -mian-sian (red wine chicken mian), char-chu-mian (braised noodle), kan-puan (dry blend noodle in black sauce), char-nyupian (sweet and sour fish), lan-baykuk (soft stewed pork ribs with sechuan spicy veg.), kor-lou (spicy, sweet and sour fish maw soup), yen-gwong (meat balls wrap in pork sheets), huchiu-yu-won' (foochow fish ball with pork filling), oinchau-kay (fried chicken in red wine residue), nyu-tau-loon (sour fish head soup), dea-lonn (fluffy oyster egg). 

Not forgetting those pottery baked biscuits  like gong-pian, jing nung piang and hu-chiang miang. These are either sweet or savoury, hard or soft ones according to how they are called.  Others like ching aik koh (groundnut bun), chen-nau-pau (pillow buns with groundnut filling), wha-leng-tong (sweet groundnut soup), tau-sar-pian(biscuits with green pea filling), nuk-pau (pork buns), dea-pian(fried oyster biscuits), hui-bar (twisted torch biscuits). 

Special Foochow food eaten during celebrations and festivals, just to name some, tai-ping lonn (pouch egg soup for peace), tai-ping mian (noodle that signifies peace and reunion), pei-kuo-poon (steamed pulut rice with 8 jewels), pu-lik-kay (black herbal soup boiled with white feather duck), lu-ark (braised duck), char-pei-kuk (sweet and sour pork rib), chun-pian (savoury crepe), ah-wu-chiok (sweet glutinous rice porridge to be boiled for elders on the 29th day of the 1st lunar month- an act of filial piety)

I will try to post the photos of all these delicacies later.